Mint Directors Conference 2010

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October 7th, 2010 – From September 26th to 29th, 2010 the 26th Mint Directors Conference was hold in Canberra / Australia. More than 350 guests from 48 nations were attending this numismatic mega event. About half of the delegates came from national mints; the others were representatives of the supplying industry.
Here you will find a photo story about the conference. You will read more about the discussions – When will cashless payments replace coins and bills? Technical innovations; Mints as partners of collectors – within the next issues of CoinsWeekly.

Yong Hak Jeon, President of MDC and President of the Korean Minting & Security Printing, and Ross MacDiarmid, future president of MDC and CEO of the Royal Australian Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The congress was officially opened in the evening of September 26th. An impressive opening ceremony sponsored by Graebener Pressen and Sunshine mint took place at the National Museum of Australia.
Yong Hak Jeon, President of MDC, and host Ross MacDiarmid, future President of MDC, welcomed all who had come to attend the congress.

Modern architecture and immemorial culture. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

All delegates watched mesmerized the Australian aborigines presenting their ritual dances.

Playing the didgeridoo. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The tribe elders have agreed, which dances should be allowed to be shown to outsiders. The sacred elements of religious ceremonies will be kept a secret.

Dance invoking a successful hunt. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

Imitating the hunt and the behavior of the hunted animals are elements of these ritual dances.

Ian Bennet, CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

The next morning, the first session started at 8.00. Ian Bennet, CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, acted as chairperson. This morning was dedicated to “Imaginative Payment Developments”.

Thomas Lammer, European Central Bank. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

The topic was considered from every angle. The Executive Vize President of Visacard Australia and a consultant for mobile payments conveyed the impression that cash will be removed within the very next months. Thomas Lammer / European Central Bank stressed some of the problems and the fact that governments are challenged to guarantee the security of these new methods of payment.

Gerhard Starsich, CEO Austrian Mint. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Gerhard Starsich, CEO of the Austrian Mint, put forward some concrete figures, which indicated that the end of coins won’t come in the foreseeable future.

Doug Melville, Ombudsman for Banking Services & Investments. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

And Doug Melville compared the modernization of the banking sector with an express train, which forces many passengers to continue the ride without giving them a possibility to get off. Many, especially seniors, still do not trust electronic payment systems.

The delegates were attentively listening to the presentations. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

You will find a more detailed article on this theme within one of the upcoming issues of CoinsWeekly.

Ed Moy, Director of the United States Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

Another session was entitled “Inspiring Performance in World Class Minting”. Ed Moy, Director of the United States Mint, headed this part of the conference. He rated the performance of the airline he traveled with as not inspiring. He reached Australia; his suitcase did not. Many participants shared his fate. They all came casual – because their business suits were still somewhere traveling.

From left to right: Kontantin Li, Saxonia; Matti Rastas, Mint of Finland; Jinglin Chen, China Banknote Printing & Minting Corporation; Dr. Peter Huber, State Mints Baden-Württemberg; Ed Moy, US Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The five speakers of the second session came from five different nations and three continents. They presented world-class performances of their mints. The focus was environment protection and automation, to name just two topics.

Konstantin Li, Saxonia. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Konstantin Li discussed important environmental issues. He presented a study on environmental implications of different electroplating processes. This procedure is applied in many countries in order to avoid the high prices of some minting metals.

Matti Rastas, Vice President of the Mint of Finland. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Matti Rastas illustrated his presentation with a cineastic treasure, a little film featuring some minting procedures of the first half of the 20th century.

Dr. Peter Huber, Director of the State Mints of Baden-Württemberg. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Peter Huber, Director of the State Mints of Baden-Württemberg gave an insight into some comparative studies on mint performances. He stated that learning from each other is the most important in order to achieve peak performance.

Lunch in the central court of the convention hotel. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The participants met for lunch in the charming garden of the convention hotel.

Informal discussions during tea breaks. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

The informal discussions were sometimes even more important than the official sessions. In Canberra a participant could meet a great part of the members of the world of modern numismatics in order to promote a better international cooperation.

Australian Bush Evening. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

In the evening Schuler Pressen invited the members to attend an Australian bush evening.

Dieter Merkle, Schuler Pressen. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Dieter Merkle, Schuler Pressen, welcomed his guests.

Noluvuyo Mvinjelwa, spouse of the President of the South African Mint. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Lambs, kids and other cuddly animals invited to hug them.

Günther Waadt, Director of the Bavarian State Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

You wouldn’t call the snakes, which were presented by a reptiles show, cozy. But those, who were brave enough to touch them, stated that their skin was warm, dry and pleasant.

Squaredance. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

Some participants tried the Australian version of square dance.

Maarten Brouwer, Mint Master, Royal Dutch Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

And they had a lot of fun.

Conference of one of the many committees of the MDC. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

The various committees of the MDC met behind closed doors.

Fair for minting equipment on the edge of the MDC. Image courtesy of MDC 2010

On the edge of the MDC a fair for minting equipment took place.

Exhibition of coins. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The MDC elects the most beautiful and the most innovative coin. There are three categories: circulation coins, commemorative coins in silver and in gold. The winning mints were honored on the occasion of the gala dinner sponsored by Saxonia at the Australian Parliament.
This award is very prestigious, because only mints are allowed to vote. What a feeling to be recognized by the best experts in the field!

Reception at the Australian Parliament. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The Australian Parliament offered a very special setting for the gala dinner.

Gala-Dinner. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

Good music, good food and interesting conversations, everybody was delighted. Just the Europeans were a little bit irritated by the Australian custom to distribute the different menus arbitrarily: Those who were lucky found the dish they had preferred; the others were forced to find somebody willing to change.

Farit Tuganbayev, Director of the Kazakhstan Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The MDC prize giving ceremony was the highlight of the evening. Kazakhstan was pleased winning the award for the best circulation coin.

Marcelo De Los Santos Fraga, General Director Casa de Moneda de Mexico, and his technical director, Juan Manuel Shiguetomi Villegas. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

Mexico was awarded the price for the most beautiful silver coin.

Tadeuz Steckiewicz, President of the Board of the Mint of Poland, and Leszek Kula, Operational Director of the Mint of Poland. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

Poland won the award for the most innovative silver coin. This commemorative coin shows a center of pure glass.

Left: Gilles de Gouyon de Coipel, Deputy General Manager of the Monnaie de Paris, right: Yoshiake Shinhara, President of the Japan Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The French and the Japanese mint shared literally the award for the most beautiful gold coin. No problem to be generous for Gilles de Gouyon, because he additionally won the prize for the most innovative gold coin.

A red carpet invited the participants to visit the Royal Australian Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The gala dinner signified the official end of the MDC. Nevertheless there was an exciting post congress tour for all those, who wanted to see more of Australia.
The Australian Mint rolled out the red carpet for their guests. What an irresistible invitation to the mint!

Royal Australian Mint. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The Royal Australian Mint offers to their guests a fantastic view from a visitors’ gallery.

The Sydney Opera House. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

A second gala dinner was held on a ship cruising in the beautiful bay of Sydney.

In the rain forest. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

Rain forests, lonely beaches, the Great Barrier Reef and an exciting fauna, two days gave a minuscule insight, what Australia has to offer.

At the far right: Niels Hagemann, Managing Director MDM. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

MDM’s birthday cake. Photo: Ursula Kampmann

The last celebration was hold in Cairns at a crocodile farm. MDM sponsored the event. The company celebrated that evening its 40th birthday and was given a gorgeous birthday cake.

The next MDC will take place in Vienna in 2010. The Austrian Mint will be in charge of the organization.
More about the MDC 2010 you will find within one of the next issues of CoinsWeekly.